Women Who Get Out Of Bed Early Have Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting women in the U.S. A number of factors have been linked to its development, such as alcohol consumption and being overweight. Interestingly, the time a woman starts her day may also contribute to the risk of having the disease.

A new study, published in the BMJ, suggests that sleep may play a role in how women develop breast cancer. Researchers found that those who wake up early in the morning may have a lower risk of having the disease compared to those who sleep late, CNN reported Thursday.

Estimates showed that for women, one out of 100 morning lovers has breast cancer, while two in 100 night owls develop the disease. Researchers said that insomnia contributes to the risk. 

The women in the study who preferred sleeping more than seven to eight hours per night also showed a small increase in the risk of breast cancer. The findings come from the analysis of data from more than 400,000 women in the United Kingdom. 

Dipender Gill, a clinical research fellow at Imperial College London, said the study offers a "useful progress in the field." The new findings support previous research that suggested a link between sleep and health problems. 

However, he noted the researchers did not determine how sleep directly contributes to the development of breast cancer. 

"It may be that certain factors that affect sleep-related behaviors also affect breast cancer risk through a separate mechanism," Gill said. "There is still some way to go before we fully understand the implications of sleeping patterns on health."

Caroline Relton, study co-author and a professor of epigenetic epidemiology at the University of Bristol, in the U.K., said sleep still has negative impacts on the body. 

"The message is that perhaps people don't fully appreciate that sleep is really important and does have health benefits beyond not feeling physically tired and being cognitively alert and so forth," she said of their study’s findings. 

Eva Schernhammer, a professor from the University of Vienna, said the study calls for further research to explore how changes to the body’s biological clock affect health. 

The American Cancer Society estimates that over 260,000 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women across the U.S. in 2019.

Sleep A study suggests that the women who prefer waking up early in the morning may have lower risks of having breast cancer compared to night owls. Pixabay